I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 Joy and encouragement jump off of the pages of Philippians and this coming from someone sitting in a jail cell! How can this be? Paul had learned to be content in whatever circumstance he encountered. Everyone like Paul faces difficult circumstances but what can make the difference is perspective. Romans 8:31 challenges our thinking by telling us that God is for us not against us. Paul was not looking at his circumstance to determine God’s love and faithfulness to him. He had had made his mind up long before the many hardships, trials, and beatings that God loved him. Paul’s focus was on knowing Christ and spreading the gospel.
The power of perspective will keep you going when everything around you may be falling apart. I have witnessed first hand through various testimonies the most courageous women here at New Hope. I have heard their stories of heartache, some loosing their children to the streets, others to prison and some raising their grand children; yet they stand believing that God loves them and is for them. These women faithfully give of themselves, pursue Christ and spread the gospel. Christmas time can be a joyous occasion for some and for some it is a reminder of the loved ones who have gone astray. It can be a time of blessings or a time of lack, a time of health or a time of illness. Life is unpredictable and chasing the illusion of happiness here on earth only leads to emptiness. The place of confidence and assurance of joy is found in Christ. God is in control and we must wait for God’s plan’s to develop. Joy comes in believing!